Gather around SNAP recipients, you are not going to want to miss this.
A few months ago at the market we introduced Double Up Food Bucks, a federal program that allows a dollar-for-dollar match at participating farmers markets (up to ten dollars per week). Anyone utilizing SNAP benefits is eligible to receive twice as much healthy, Arizona grown produce through DUFB. Not only does this directly benefit food stamp recipients, but local farmers receive more customers, and the food dollars go back in to our local economy. Call it a win-win-win.
The process is simple. Shop with your EBT card at our market on Saturday’s and pay for your items at the Information Booth. In return, we will match however much you spend by giving you up to 10 tokens to use on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. Use the tokens the same day or come back and use them next time; they don’t expire.
Have any further questions about this program? Come see us at the Information Booth where our volunteers can help you get started. DUFB started in Michigan just five years ago and since then has benefited over 300,000 low income families and 1,000 local farmers. Help the program stick around by getting involved.
Pick up the latest Edible Phoenix at the Market every Saturday! Check out What’s In Season, find delicious recipes and read about food culture in Phoenix. Plan your weekly shopping lists and menus around these delicious crops.
Producing over 35,000 pounds a week, it is no wonder Abby Lee Farms is famous for their delicious tomatoes. Their products can be found at ten farmers markets around the valley and in almost every premium grocery store. However, most people are unaware of the growing techniques and sustainability initiatives the farmers at Abby Lee take part in.
Abby Lee Farms is a hydroponic grower. This means that rather than growing their produce outside in the soil, they instead monitor them in a controlled greenhouse environment. By doing this, they are able to reuse almost all of the water instead of it absorbing in the soil. Nutrients are sent to the plants several times a day using a specialized drip system. Another sustainable technique they use is controlling the climate in their greenhouse. This ensures that they keep the ideal humidity and temperature needed for the tomatoes to grow.
The tomatoes produced at Abby Lee farms are shipped out to consumers the same day they are picked, which is why they call themselves “hyperlocal.” The tomatoes are picked at peak harvest times at the height of their ripeness. This is nearly three weeks later than other commercial growers. Unlike most of modern day produce, Abby Lee’s products are not shipped across the country. They stay local from the time they are picked to the time they are purchased. Is your mouth watering yet? Come by the market this Saturday to get your hands on these delicious tomatoes.
-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern
This weekend.. Join us for a FREE Workshop startng at 9am. An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping: Intended for those who are new to beekeeping, this class will go over the basic requirements to start your own backyard hive. We will go over local rules and regulations, initial cost and setup, safety measures, and basic maintenance.
Did you know that by 2050, the world will need to feed two billion more people than it does today? With the increasing concern over climate change, natural resource scarcity, world hunger, and shrinking biodiversity, it is crucial that farmers adapt sustainable agriculture practices. Sustainable agriculture may seem like a difficult concept to grasp at first glance but the idea behind it is relatively simple. Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Therefore, sustainable farming aims to use mindful farming techniques that do not disrupt the environment.
Last Saturday at the market, I had the opportunity to talk with Maya Dailey about what environmentally friendly strategies she uses at her farm, Maya’s Farm. Her farm is located on an ancient riverbed near South Mountain Park right here in Phoenix. Because the crops sit on naturally sandy soil and are located near Artesian wells, Maya’s Farm is in the prefect environment to foster a sustainable farm system. She uses just the amount of water needed to produce naturally crisp and delicious crops and uses a drip tape irrigation system to ensure no water goes unused. This system delivers water straight the the base of the plant and forfeits the traditional sprinkler system.
Maya’s Farm produces only certified organic crops. This means her crops contain no toxic pesticides, dyes, or chemical fertilizers. As a result, the farm fosters biodiversity and the preservation of natural resources. To minimize her carbon footprint, Maya implements recycling and composting techniques to create a zero-waste environment. In addition, her small independent farm uses no large scale machinery. This not only significantly minimizes pollution, but also prevents the concept of an assembly line approach to farming. With no mass production, each crop is carefully looked after from the time the seed is planted to the moment it is purchased.
Knowing the measures Maya takes to ensure the environmental preservation of her farm makes me proud to purchase her produce. Remember to support all of the local, sustainable farmers every Saturday at the market.
-Sydney Schutkowski, Sustainability Intern
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